What Really Happened At the Alamo? By Val Ilyukhina and Lisa Bowsher

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Transcript of What Really Happened At the Alamo? By Val Ilyukhina and Lisa Bowsher

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What Really Happened At the Alamo? By Val Ilyukhina and Lisa Bowsher Slide 2 What Really Happened to Columbus? The Truth Behind Columbus Day (1:25) The Truth Behind Columbus Day Slide 3 Lets talk about the video clip What parts of this clip are different from what you learned about Columbus? Can you think of another historical event that has several interpretations? Why do you think there are so many different accounts of the same historical stories? Slide 4 How much do you know about what really happened at the Alamo? Slide 5 The Alamo is located in San Antonio, Texas Slide 6 The Alamo was built in 1718. It was originally a home to missionaries and Indian converts. In 1973 Spanish officials distributed the land to those living near it. The Alamo was under Mexican control for the majority of its time and housed many revolutionaries and royalists during Mexicos very long war for independence. Slide 7 This is what the Alamo looked like when it was built The Alamo, Built 1718, The McArdle Notebooks, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Slide 8 San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas Revolution. In December 1835, Ben Milam led Texian and Tejano volunteers against Mexican troops quartered in the city. After five days of house-to-house fighting, they forced General Marn Perfecto de Cs and his soldiers to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the Alamo already fortified prior to the battle by Cs' men and strengthened its defenses. Slide 9 On February 23, 1836, General Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna's army arrives outside San Antonio nearly catching the occupants of the Alamo by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo together. The defenders held out for 13 days against Santa Anna's army. William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo sent forth couriers carrying pleas for help to communities in Texas. On the eighth day of the siege, a band of 32 volunteers from Gonzales arrived, bringing the number of defenders to nearly two hundred. Slide 10 Battle of the Alamo by Percy Moran, 1912 Library of Congress Photo and Print Online Catalog Slide 11 Legend holds that with the possibility of additional help fading, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over all except one did. As the defenders saw it, the Alamo was the key to the defense of Texas, and they were ready to give their lives rather than surrender their position to General Santa Anna. Among the Alamo's garrison were Jim Bowie (left), renowned knife fighter, and David Crockett (right), famed frontiersman and former congressman from Tennessee. Slide 12 The final assault came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836. Columns of Mexican soldiers emerge Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several attacks. Regrouping, the Mexicans scaled the walls Once inside, they turned a captured cannon on the Long Barrack and church, blasting open the barricaded doors. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and Santa Anna entered the Alamo compound to survey the scene of his victory. The Battle of the Alamo Slide 13 Alamo by Alton S. Tobey from the-alamo-san-antonio.com Slide 14 Common Misconceptions The men of the Alamo could have left at any time because they were volunteers. Although the majority of the Alamo's garrison was composed of volunteers, they were volunteers in the 19th century military sense of the word. These men had signed an oath of allegiance to the Provisional Government of Texas, declaring "I will serve her honestly and faithfully against all her enemies and opposer whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the Governor of Texas, the orders and decrees of the present and future authorities and the orders of the officers appointed over me according to the rules and regulations for the government of Texas."Citizen-soldiers, these men were bound to defend any post they were assigned and were not free to leave on their own. Slide 15 The only Texans who rallied to the aid of the Alamo were 32 men from Gonzales. One question frequently asked about the Battle of the Alamo is why did not more Texans answer Travis' poignant pleas for help. The arrival of the Gonzales Ranging Company on the morning of March 1, 1836, is the only documented instance of assistance. Much scorn has been heaped on Colonel James W. Fannin, whose 400-man battalion remained at Goliad, only 100 miles away. Fannin's detractors ignore the fact that he also faced an advancing Mexican column and could not leave his post unguarded. Travis' letters were effective in bringing recruits to the field. More than 200 volunteers had gathered at Gonzales in preparation to march to the Alamo's relief when news of its fall reached the town. Slide 16 The Battle of the Alamo bought time for Sam Houston to build his army. The notion that the men of the Alamo died buying time for Sam Houston to build an army is well-entrenched in Alamo lore, but a review of Houston's activities shows it to be unfounded. On November 12, 1835, the Consultation (the provisional government of Texas) appointed Sam Houston Commanding-General of the Texas Army. His authority, however, extended over the regular army, leaving him unable to legally issue orders to the volunteers already in the field. Houston dispatched recruiters to raise the regular army as well as agents to acquire arms, uniforms, and other supplies. With no troops to command, Houston received a furlough on January 28 in order to take care of personal business. He spent part of his leave conducting negotiations with the Cherokee Indians. With a treaty successfully concluded, Houston rode to Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he served as a delegate to the constitutional convention, remaining there until March 6. During his stay, the new government reconfirmed his appointment as commanding-general of the Texas Army, giving him control over all troops - regulars and volunteers. Houston arrived at Gonzales on March 11 to lead a relief expedition to San Antonio but by then the Alamo had already fallen. Thus, during the siege Houston was not building an army but engaged in other important business. Slide 17 While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt about what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against impossible odds a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason, the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty. Slide 18 Lets look at some different perspectives According to America: Pathways to the Present: In 1822, Stephen F. Austin, a former member for the Missouri Territorial legislature, founded a colony of several hundred families in east Texas, in Northern Mexico. As their numbers swelled, these Americans demanded more political control. In particular, they wanted slavery to be guaranteed under Mexican law. They wanted the same rights they had possessed in the United States. When General Santa Anna became dictator of Mexico he stripped Texas of its rights of self-government. Texans became independence-minded settlers and clashed with Mexican troops, beginning the Texas War for Independence. Santa Anna led an army across the Rio Grande to subdue the rebellion. In February 1836, the Mexicans reached the Alamo. Led by William Travis and James Bowie, the Texans hoped to slow the generals advance long enough to allow their fellow rebels to assemble an army. The courageous Texans inflicted heavy casualties, but the Mexicans eventually overwhelmed the Alamo and killed most of those inside (p. 109) Slide 19 Now its your turn to interpret some first-person accounts of the battle of the Alamo. In your groups talk about your first-person account and which parts of it fit into the story we learned today, and which parts dont. Which parts are similar or different from the textbook account? Fill out your worksheets and get ready to discuss with your classmates! Slide 20 Resources Garcia, J., Jordan, W.D., Ogle, D.M., Frederick Risinger, C., & Stevos, J. (2001). Creating America: a history of the United States. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. Appleby, J., Brinkley, A., & McPherson, J.M. (2000). The American journey. Westerville, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Loewen, J. (1995). Lies my teacher told me: everything your American history textbook got wrong. New York: Touchstone. The Alamo. Retrieved from http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563289/The_Alamo.html.http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563289/The_Alamo.html Learning Standards. Retrieved from http://www.isbe.net/ils/default.htm.http://www.isbe.net/ils/default.htm Battle of the Alamo. Retrieved from http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html.http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html History. Retrieved from http://www.thealamo.org/history.html.http://www.thealamo.org/history.html Remember the Alamo. Retrieved from http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/900/PreviewComp/SuperStock_900-122981.jpg. http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI/223/900/PreviewComp/SuperStock_900-122981.jpg Battle of the Alamo. Discovery. Video retrieved from http://military.discovery.com/videos/unsolved-history-military- battle-of-the-alamo.htmlhttp://military.discovery.com/videos/unsolved-history-military- battle-of-the-alamo.html Cayton, A. et al. (2000). America: pathways to the present. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Hardin, S.L., (1994). The battle of the Alamo. Retrieved from http://history-world.org/alamo2.htmhttp://history-world.org/alamo2.htm Heffner, R.D. (2002). A history of the united states. New York, NY: Signet Classic Loewen, J. (1995). Lies my teacher told me: everything your American history textbook got wrong. New York: Touchstone. Winders, R. B. Histor